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Tampa Equestrian Festival Announces Expanded Hunter Divisions

Tampa, FL - February 26, 2009 - Stadium Jumping, Inc., one of the nation's leading horse show production companies, is pleased to announce that the 2009 Tampa Equestrian Festival will feature three weeks of 'AA' rated hunter competition with some of the top hunter horses and riders in the nation. The show will run from March 18 to April 4 at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa, FL.

The 2009 Tampa Equestrian Festival is set to feature a full line-up of hunter divisions, including some new additions this year. The addition of Hunter Breeding classes, as well as an expanded schedule of non-rated hunter divisions, will greatly enhance the three weeks of competition.

This year will feature the 2009 Tampa Series Hunter High Score Circuit Awards, which will be awarded in 34 individual hunter divisions including the professional, junior, amateur-owner, adult amateur, children, pony, and breeding divisions. Each hunter division will feature a $500 stake class as well as the newly added handy rounds.

Rider Caitie Hope was presented the William R. "Bill" Fitch Sportsmanship Award at the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational last year. Hope was very successful during last year's competition and rides with trainer Diane Carney of Telluride Farm.

"I love Tampa," Carney stated. "Tampa has always been a great place to compete. The grand prix ring, the hunters, the venue's smaller layout, all really appeals. Last year the Junior-Amateur Jumper prize money was huge, and I would have to say that was a big difference in making it to the Washington International Horse Show, in our situation. I have always had great success in Tampa with both hunters and jumpers."

"The management is excellent," Carney continued. "They bend over backwards to try to make things work nicely for you, and they are very organized. I also think that it was huge that they stepped up to do the hunter derby in Naples, and I can only hope that might be something that they will do again in the future."

"Coming from showing in the big outdoor venues to the smaller Tampa venue positively makes a difference for the horses," Carney continued. "It is like apples and oranges. The covered arena is an opportunity for an indoor feel. It is much tighter quarters, and it is a little more realistic towards the European venues or indoors here in the U.S. I think it is good for the horses to change it up."

The Tampa Equestrian Festival will begin its three weeks of competition with the Suncoast Internationale, which will run from March 18-22, with hunter judges Gary Duffy and Meredith McLaughlin. That will be followed by the Tampa Bay Classic CSI 3*-W on March 25-29, with hunter judges James Walter Lee, Walter Tim Kees, and Leo Conroy. The third and final week will be the Tournament of Champions, CSI on March 31 thru April 4, with Sue Ashe, Ronnie Beard, and Linda Hough judging the hunter rings.

For more information on Stadium Jumping, Inc. and the 2009 Tampa Equestrian Festival please visit http://www.stadiumjumping.com.



Photo Credit: Caitie Hope from Telluride Farm and Lyle won in the junior hunters at last year's Tampa Equestrian Festival. Hope was presented with the Bill Fitch Sportsmanship Trophy at the Budweiser American Invitational. Photo Jennifer Wood/PMG. Photograph may be used only in relation to this PMG press release.

 

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